Harper Lee, Dr Seuss… who’s next?

A few weeks back, we were greeted with the news that there would be a belated (55 years) release of Harper Lee’s second and hitherto unknown book – a follow up/prequel to the much studied half-century-old To Kill a Mockingbird. Quite extraordinary really. The book has the title, Go Set a Watchman, but may as well be called To Create a PR Bonanza.

And now, just a few weeks later, there are reports that a previously unpublished Dr Seuss book, complete with illustrations by the author (who died in 1991) had been found and What Pet Should I Get? will be hitting bookstores in July 2015.

So, with the discovery of these two previously unknown works in the space of mere weeks, we are wondering what other manuscripts may soon be coming out of the woodwork, attics or an episode of Storage Wars. Here are some possible candidates:

The Average Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
This follow up explores the lesser-talked-about younger brother of Gatsby, who doesn’t really do anything of note. He can’t even see the green light at the end of the dock, due to his poor eyesight.

1993 – George Orwell
According to sources, Orwell began this novel immediately following the completion of his dystopian work, 1984. However, after a particularly heavy round of editing, all that remained was one paragraph: “It was a bright cold day in April. Not much happened. Nirvana and Snoop Doggy Dogg, Mrs Doubtfire and Windows 3.1.” His publishers passed on it.

Lord of the Pommel Horse – J.R.R. Tolkien
A little-known fact was that Tolkien was an avid gymnastics enthusiast. The original concept for Lord of the Rings had been as a series of books that would travel around different gymnastics apparatus. Lord of the Pommel Horse was in fact written first, with characters including hobbit gymnast Bouncy Baggins, flexible elf Leggy-lass and the dwarf Groin, son of Loin and their quest to avoid Dismount Doom. It was only at the last minute that Tolkien’s publishers suggested making the rings the type that you wear on your finger.

Catch 22 in the Rye – Salinger & Heller
Previously unknown and recently discovered at a garage sale in Adelaide, this collaboration is thought to have been written in 1964 and tells the tale of Holden Yossarian – who travels to New York during World War II and sits around lamenting on how his life choices defy logic.

The Paleo Butterfly – Eric Carle
After writing his 1969 smash hit The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle wrote many other insect-related picture books that have delighted us for decades. But only now are we hearing about the book he wrote immediately after Caterpillar. It is the tale of a Butterfly with an eating-disorder past, who tries a different diet on each page.

The Crepes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Steinbeck’s prequel to the Oklahoma dustbowl classic describes a French family and the tale of a crepe shortage that besets their village. It follows Thomas J’Oad and his family as they go in search of eggs, milk, flour and a frypan hot enough to start a new life with a decent breakfast.

Lord of the FlyBuys – William Golding
Written a year after Lord of the Flies, this followup deals with loyalty themes once more. It explores what happens when a group of preschool mums are stranded on an island and the savagery that ensues once they discover that all of their FlyBuys points combined still won’t even buy them a toasted sandwich maker from the catalogue.

The Lion, The Witch and the Walk-in-Wardrobe and Ensuite – C.S. Lewis
The eighth book in The Chronicles of Narnia series was thought to have been lost in 1959 in a freak fire involving marmalade toast and a magnifying glass. However it has now surfaced, showing how Lewis had intended to reboot the franchise, but this time reflecting the changing times by focusing mainly on the wardrobe itself (the entire book takes place in it) and the excellent shoe storage and dinky tie racks it contains.

Pride and PruneJuice – Jane Austen
Showing social and nutritional awareness two centuries ahead of its time, this manuscript (believed to have been written on a rainy Tuesday in 1814) was found in a box labelled “Do not open until 2015”, which the Austen family had faithfully kept unopened for 200 years. It tells the tale of Mr Collins and Mr Darcy, now living together as a gay couple and how they cured their friend Lezzy Bent of her constipation. (“Till this moment, I never knew myself…”)

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